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Title: Epigenetic rooted architecture: a typology for obstetrical programming
Authors: Modl, Alison
Keywords: algorithms;architecture;cognitive;endocrine system;epigenetics;limbic system;maternal environment;medical;midwifery;new typology;obstetric;parturition;pregnancy;short-term residence;survival-of-the-fittest;women’s health;well-being
Issue Date: 10-Apr-2019
Abstract: Western medicine has involved studies of environmental, social, and dietary stress that leads to the diagnosis of hereditary disorders. Even with pharmaceutical treatments, these disorders have risen. This short-term response does not benefit the long-term health of future generations. By refocusing with theories of “survival of the fittest,” adaptation starts when an individual perceives and responds to their built environment. Personal senses (vision, smell, touch, taste, etc.) gather information on a specific space and are subsequently expressed through an emotional response. This internal process, called the limbic system, is done through hormones that respond to sensory/ emotional information and give function to cells through the body. Disorders arise when there is too much or too little of a hormone that damages how the body reads the DNA within a cell, known as an epigenetic modification. The misreading and re-interpretation of epigenetic patterns are most crucial during exponential cell growth during in utero. Therefore, the architectural reading of an expecting mother may hinder or benefit the unborn child’s future health. How can we use the built environment to promote human’s fitness within the timeframe of in utero? Architecture can display multiplicities of emotional responses. Theories in biophilic design and cognitive architecture have listed multiple architectural elements and their spectrum of emotions. This information can be used at its full capacity when starting at the micro responses of cells due to macro atmospheric qualities. When imposing a new typology for pregnant women, their health and programmatic requirements connect to architectural elements, emotions, and senses that start to inform a design toolkit. This will assist in the design and development of a short-term residence for pregnant and post-partum women who require a secure and stimulating architecture. This new typology will investigate the use of data as a means to generate a building that is self-aware of these interactions; creating a relationship between architecture and mother that is not one-sided but continuously responding to her changing needs.
Appears in Collections:Architecture - Master's Theses
Master's Theses

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